At least a dozen new places have popped up every time I return to Athens to see my family and friends. So much to see and do – so little time. Blame it on me being a creature of habit or growing old and lazy, most times it’s simply because I’ve discovered a handful of places that I truly enjoy that I rarely deviate from them.
If you’re visiting Athens, either for the first or hundredth time, these urban spots are always in my let’s-do-this list. [To-do lists can be a tad stressful when on holidays.]
At first sight you’ll be tempted by the elegant interior design – classy and timeless with a twist. Don’t be fooled though; their cocktails are exquisite and I hear that their brunch menu delivers as well. If the weather allows, grab a seat outside and order the humongous cheese & charcuterie plateau. Feel free to share. Or not.
Away from the rowdy, superficially social scene of the main streets in Kolonaki (central Athens), this jazz cocktail bar is a hidden gem. Step in and you’ll find yourself in another era. Dark, moody and full of old-school charm, this place will instantly make you feel at ease even if you’ve never been there before; it’s honest, straightforward and authentic. It’s quite rare to see a woman on the decks, the owner plays music she’s putting music at home, alternating between jazz, jazz and some more jazz. Don’t let the precision and refinement in the bartender’s moves fool you, the cocktails here really pack a punch. Order a negroni, bring your secret lover.
There are a million different things going on at Belleville, a fresh, unique multi-store and multi-purpose place in Gazi, Athens. From fried chicken and waffles breakfast (a novelty in the Athenian food scene) to rap music live shows, Belleville caters for all tastes. However, let’s not get distracted – we’re climbing up the stairs and heading to the rooftop bar for drinks and the one most beautiful views to Acropolis a bar in central Athens could offer. To save you the time spent Googling, the large neon sign “Amantes Amentes” is Latin for “lovers (are) lunatics” – it comes up in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. High above the hustle of the street and gazing at the velvet Athenian sky, why shouldn’t they be?
Barrett is a versatile all-day cafe, bar and exhibition space in the heart of the city – it packs character and a sense of humour. On the first floor, the large floor-to-ceiling windows provide the perfect excuse for unhindered people-watching; order a cup of coffee and indulge. If you’re busy, head upstairs where the large wooden communal table provides the perfect quiet but social environment for students and freelancers alike.
Bonne vivante (as always),